The Export-Import Bank of the US (US Exim) is backing its first transaction in Tajikistan following the signing of a US$80mn loan to Somon Air.

Private Export Funding Corp (Pefco) is providing the loan to Somon Air to purchase a Boeing next-generation 737-900ER aircraft.

The deal is also Boeing’s first sale to Somon Air and the first export of its 737-900ER and Sky Interior aircraft to Central Asia.

“This delivery was a series of firsts. We are delighted that the bank could help a new, small airline to realise its goal of operating new Boeing aircraft,” says Marty Bentrott, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice-president of sales for Middle East, Russia and Central Asia.

The financing is structured as an asset-backed finance lease secured by first-priority mortgages on the aircraft, US Exim says.

Privately-owned Somon Air operates flights to Germany, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Kazakhstan, China and Russia.

The airline accepted delivery of the first of the aircraft from Boeing in early October.